• Colbert's Guests Sing 'We'll Meet Again' As He Says Goodbye
    Stephen Colbert said farewell to "The Colbert Report" last night with old-fashioned, over-the-top showmanship. The centerpiece of Colbert's final "Report" was an elaborate performance featuring literally scores of celebrities and former guests all singing "We'll Meet Again," a song from 1939 that became one of the iconic sentimental favorites of World War II. This clip is really a must-see piece of video.
  • The Year In Review: Tragedies In The World Of Comedy
    The tragedies and travails of some of our most iconic comedians were among the top stories in TV and all of entertainment in 2014. Robin Williams shocked us all by committing suicide, Joan Rivers died apparently from a botched medical procedure, and Bill Cosby became embroiled in an ugly sex scandal.
  • Is This The Era Of Collegiality In Late-Night TV? Let's Hope Not
    As some TV columnists have already observed, peace seems to have broken out in the late-night wars -- so much so that at least superficially, you can't even call them wars anymore. Behind the scenes, however, I'm sure there is still a war -- for guests, for sponsors, for viewers, for money. On the surface, however, late-night TV has become so lovey-dovey that it has become unrecognizable.
  • Weather Debate In Sunday's 'Newsroom' Finale Didn't Feel Real
    Once upon a time, at a journalism school far, far away, I absorbed various basic lessons about the news business. One of them was: When no other lead story makes itself apparent, lead with the weather. Weather stories, I recall being told, are of near-universal interest to your readers, viewers and listeners. Because no matter what a person's age, religion, profession, ethnicity or national origin, the weather is always important. Cut to this past Sunday's series finale of "The Newsroom" on HBO, and one veteran newsman was chastising another one for a weather story.
  • Thank You For Reading This Blog: A Comment On You Commenters
    Please allow me to take this opportunity (since I rarely, if ever, post replies to reader comments on the blog) to thank each and every one of you who has taken the time to leave a comment (sometimes more than one) here on my various blog posts. Whether you agree or disagree with the opinions and/or attitudes expressed in these posts, I am grateful for your readership, your input and your advice.
  • In Crude Fox Slogan, 'Dick' Doesn't Necessarily Mean 'Detective'
    Fox throws the concept of good taste out the window and under the bus with its ad campaign for a new detective series starring Rainn Wilson. Surprised that a TV network would resort to off-color slang to promote a new TV show? If you're surprised by that, then you've been living under a rock. In the last few years, various TV networks have not hesitated (or maybe they have hesitated, then did it anyway) to promote their shows with words and phrases that were once verboten.
  • End Of An Era Approaches As Letterman Countdown Begins
    CBS finally announced the date yesterday, slotting Letterman's last "Late Show" on the final night of the 2014-15 season. It's a significant milestone in TV as well as the "popular" culture because longevity like Letterman's is so rare. Letterman's exit represents the end of an era -- when Letterman and Jay Leno had the field to themselves for the most part. When Letterman leaves, the generational shift in late night that has been underway in one way or another ever since Leno left "The Tonight Show" for the first time in 2009 will be complete.
  • The Real 'Reason For The Season': Buying And Selling Stuff
    Although I am well aware of the importance of this season to the bottom line of the nation's retailers, and the inevitability of the onslaught of retail advertising, there is something about the volume of it this year that has surprised even me. This year, for reasons I cannot quite explain, the ads seem especially unseemly -- and where steep price reductions weren't really offered or advertised until after Christmas in years past, now everything seems to be on sale before Christmas -- which makes this season's retail advertising come across as desperate, as if retailers are literally begging for ...
  • Obama On 'Colbert': Comedian In Chief Jokes While World Burns
    President Obama sure seemed to enjoy himself last night on "The Colbert Report" on Comedy Central. So did Colbert's audience of young people who crowded into an auditorium at George Washington University for this special show originating from Washington. Amid all the merriment, I couldn't help thinking about the mess the world is in and wondering: Is it appropriate for the President of the United States to be cavorting on a late-night comedy show?
  • Discovery's 'Eaten Alive' Turned Out To Be Snake Oil Special
    If you really stopped and thought about it, you would have concluded long before Discovery's "Eaten Alive" special aired last night that there was no way this naturalist would be "eaten alive" by a 27-foot anaconda. I hinted as much in a blog post last week about this show, which Discovery "sold" as if this guy was really going to be consumed whole by this snake. Millions believed this guy might actually be eaten alive on TV, and tuned in to watch. This did not happen, and viewers took to social media to complain that they'd been had.
« Previous Entries